Can You Spray Paint Concrete? (Picking Paint, Prepping, & Alternatives)

Painting concrete can be a great way to give your home an updated look or even just seal or weatherproof concrete areas of your home, but some people might wonder if you can spray paint concrete and how good of an option it might be.

You can spray paint concrete with almost any water-based, acrylic, or oil-based spray paint or paint + primer spray paint as long as you prepare and seal the surface, apply enough coats of spray paint, and finish with a clear sealing spray. Without proper preparation, concrete can soak in too much paint, leading to uneven finishes that require more paint to fix. Large project will probably require a paint sprayer.

In this article, we’ll determine whether or not you can spray paint concrete, decide what kind of spray paint works best on concrete, how to prepare concrete for painting, and look at some alternatives to paint for your next project.

Can you spray paint concrete?

Yes, you can spray paint concrete.

Concrete is a common building material for homes as well as outdoor features like driveways or patios. As a result, there are tons of products out there specifically designed to cover and protect concrete whether it is a larger home improvement project or just a quick craft that involves concrete.

Keep in mind that depending on the project, you may or may not be able to use actual spray paint cans because of the size or surface area of what you are trying to paint.

For instance, small crafts will work great with spray paint but if you are looking to spray paint a driveway you’ll need to invest in a paint roller and expect to purchase potentially gallons of paint to get the job done.

Spray painting concrete can be a great way to quickly and easily spruce up your outdoor space, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Next, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of spray painting concrete.

can you spray paint concrete

Pros and Cons of Spray Painting Concrete

Spray painting concrete is a great way to spruce up the look of your home without breaking the bank.

But, it isn’t perfect!

Pros

Paint can easy and cost-effective solution for updating the appearance of any concrete surface, such as driveways, patios, walkways, or walls.

  • Quick: The main advantage associated with spray painting concrete is that it provides quick coverage over large areas with minimal effort required from the user compared to other types of coating applications such as staining or tiling which would take much longer amounts of time depending on how big your area is that needs covering up.
  • Durability: Spray paint can be very durable when applied correctly. The paint will resist fading from UV rays and it won’t easily chip or crack due to wear and tear over time. This makes it ideal for outdoor surfaces that get a lot of foot traffic or weather exposure.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Spray painting is much cheaper than replacing concrete with new materials like brick or stone pavers which can be quite expensive depending on the size of your project area. Plus, since you don’t need special tools like trowels or grout guns to apply spray paint, it’s also more affordable in terms of labor costs compared to other methods of resurfacing concrete surfaces.
  • Ease Of Application: Applying spray paint is relatively simple compared to other methods like staining concrete which requires specialized equipment and knowledge about mixing colors properly so they blend together nicely once applied onto the surface being treated. With spray paint all you have to do is shake up the canister then start spraying.

Cons

On the other hand, some drawbacks associated with spray painting concrete should be considered before starting any project.

  • Durability: it is not very durable and will need regular maintenance to keep its appearance intact over time.
  • Peeling or chipping: if you use the wrong paint, don’t apply enough coats, fail to let it dry properly, or anything else it could lead to chipping, drips, or uneven surfaces to deal with.
  • Needs a lot of prep: Lastly, because concrete is very porous, if it isn’t sealed properly, it will absorb a lot of paint, which will require multiple coats for full coverage and evenness of color/texture throughout the entire area being painted.
To Recap: Spray painting concrete is a great way to update the look of your home without breaking the bank. Pros include durability, cost-effectiveness and ease of application, while cons may include fading over time and difficulty in achieving an even finish.

Best Type of Spray Paint for Concrete

When it comes to spray painting concrete, there are a few factors to consider when selecting the best type of paint.

Durability is key. You want a paint that will last for years and stand up to the elements. Color selection is also important; you want a range of colors that can fit your desired aesthetic. Finally, cost-effectiveness should be considered; some paints may be more expensive than others but offer better quality and longevity.

Here are the three basic options for painting concrete:

  • Oil-based paint
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Urethane
Best Type of Spray Paint for Concrete

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints are among the most durable options available for spray painting concrete surfaces. They provide excellent protection against moisture, UV rays, and other environmental conditions while offering superior adhesion compared to water-based alternatives.

Additionally, oil-based paints come in a wide variety of colors and finishes, so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of paint and require special solvents for cleanup after use.

Products such as Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel are examples of oil-based spray paint that will work.

Best for: Outdoor projects that need to be weatherproof and durable such as driveways and patios.

Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint provides good coverage on concrete surfaces with minimal preparation required before application. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to oil-based alternatives and offers decent durability when applied correctly with multiple coats over time as needed for maintenance purposes or touch-ups due to wear or fading from exposure to sunlight or weathering over time.

However, acrylic latex does not offer as much protection against moisture as oil-based paints do, so if your surface will be exposed regularly then this might not be the best option for you.

Products such as ColorShot acrylic spray paints are examples of acrylic spray paint that will work.

Best for: decorative outdoor concrete that won’t be exposed to harsh elements, any indoor concrete, craft projects involving concrete

Urethane

Urethane paints provide excellent adhesion properties and exceptional chemical resistance, making them perfect for outdoor applications such as patios or walkways where they will encounter harsh weather conditions frequently throughout their lifetime.

Urethanes typically come in either semi-gloss or glossy finishes, giving them an attractive look once applied properly. However, they tend to be pricier than other types of spray paint, so budget accordingly if considering this option.

Products such as Minwax Polyurethane spray are examples of urethane paints that will work.

For the best results, use a paint designed specifically for concrete surfaces. However, if you don’t want to spray paint your concrete, several alternatives can help you achieve the desired look.

To Recap: When it comes to spray painting concrete, there are a few factors to consider such as durability, color selection and cost-effectiveness. Popular options include oil-based paint, acrylic latex paint and epoxy paint with each offering different benefits depending on the project. Urethane paints also provide excellent adhesion properties but come at a higher cost.

Preparing to Spray Paint Concrete

However, in order for the paint job to look its best and last longer, it’s important to prepare the surface before you begin properly.

Here are some steps that will help ensure a successful spray painting project:

  • Cleaning
  • Sanding (optional)
  • Sealing
  • Priming
  • Masking or protecting your work area

Cleaning

Before applying any paint or primer, it’s essential to clean the concrete surface thoroughly. This can be done with a pressure washer or by scrubbing with soap and water. Make sure all dirt, dust, oil stains, old paint, and other debris are removed from the area before proceeding.

clean concrete before painting

Sanding (optional)

Once the surface is dry, use sandpaper or an orbital sander to lightly scuff up any glossy areas on the concrete so that paint adheres better. This is especially necessarily if you need to remove old paint or the concrete surface is especially smooth.

Be sure not to over-sand as this could damage the surface of your concrete.

Sealing (optional)

Depending on the project at hand, you might want to seal the concrete before you paint it.

Because concrete is porous, it makes sense to add a sealer to fill in those gaps, preventing excess paint absorption. If you are painting something outdoors such as a driveway or patio, it also makes sense to repair any cracks, holes, or other imperfections in the surface before applying the sealer.

Once the concrete has been repaired and sealed, you can move on to priming the concrete.

Priming

Primer helps create a more even finish when spray painting concrete surfaces and should always be applied prior to painting. It also helps protect against moisture damage which can cause peeling and fading over time if left untreated.

When selecting primer for your project, make sure it is specifically designed for use on masonry surfaces such as brick or stone walls/floors/patios, etc., as regular primers may not adhere correctly.

priming and painting concrete

Masking or protecting your work area

Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to mask off any areas around window sills, door frames, etc., where you don’t want to overspray from your spray gun while spraying paint onto your concrete surfaces.

These simple steps will help ensure that you get professional results when spraying concrete.

To Recap: Spray painting concrete requires proper preparation and technique for best results. Steps include: cleaning, sanding, sealing, priming, and masking off areas.

Alternatives to Spray Painting Concrete

Of course, you don’t HAVE to paint your concrete, there are other options!

Staining

Staining concrete is a great alternative to spray paint for those looking to give their concrete surfaces a unique and attractive look. Stains come in a variety of colors, from light earth tones to deep blues and reds, allowing you to customize the look of your concrete surface.

Staining is also more durable than paint, as it penetrates into the pores of the concrete instead of just sitting on top like paint does. This makes staining much less likely to chip or peel off over time. The downside is that staining can be expensive and requires some preparation before application.

Epoxy

Epoxy coatings are another option for those wanting an attractive finish on their concrete surfaces without resorting to spray paint.

Epoxy paint is an ideal choice if you need extra durability from your spray-painted surface since it provides superior resistance against abrasion, chemicals, heat, humidity, impact damage, saltwater corrosion, staining, fading, and pretty much anything else you can think of happening to your concrete. This makes them an ideal for high-traffic areas such as garages or basements where spills are common occurrences.

Basically, epoxy is meant to seal, cover, and protect for the long term.

It’s also very easy to apply & clean up afterward, making it great for DIY projects. Unfortunately, epoxy tends to have limited color choices & higher costs associated with its use which could make it prohibitively expensive depending on what project you’re working on.

Best for: outdoor projects that need a lot of durable protection such as driveways and patios

They also come in many different colors so you can find one that matches your existing decor perfectly. However, epoxy coatings tend to be more expensive than regular paints or stains due to their durability and longevity, so they may not be suitable if you’re working within a tight budget.

To Recap: Staining and epoxy coatings are viable options for protecting concrete surfaces without using spray paint. Staining offers a variety of colors, while epoxy coatings provide superior protection but can be expensive.

Can you spray paint concrete – FAQ

Is it better to roll or spray-paint concrete?

It depends on the size of the area you are painting and your experience level. For larger areas, spraying is usually more efficient and will provide a smoother finish. However, if you have less experience with spray painting or are working in an enclosed space, rolling may be preferable as it is easier to control and requires less skill.

Additionally, rolling provides better accuracy if you need to paint intricate details or corners than spraying. Ultimately, both methods can produce good results; it’s just a matter of finding what works best for your project.

How do you prep concrete for spray painting?

Before you begin spray painting concrete, it is important to prepare the surface properly. First, clean the area thoroughly with a pressure washer or scrub brush and detergent. Next, use an etching solution or sandpaper to roughen the surface of the concrete for better paint adhesion. Finally, rinse off any residue from cleaning and etching before applying primer and paint. Allow each coat of primer and paint to dry completely before adding additional coats until desired coverage is achieved.

Does Rustoleum spray paint work on concrete?

Yes, Rustoleum spray paint can be used on concrete as long as you choose an option that is designed specifically for use on concrete. You will also have to follow the same steps for preparing your concrete to be painted, including cleaning, sealing, and priming.

What is the best paint for concrete?

When it comes to painting concrete, the best paint option is epoxy-based paint. Epoxy paints are highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures, moisture, and abrasion. They also provide a glossy finish that resists fading and staining over time.

Additionally, they are easy to clean with just soap and water. When applying epoxy paint on concrete surfaces, make sure to use a primer first for better adhesion of the topcoat. Finally, always follow manufacturer instructions for proper application techniques in order to achieve optimal results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, spray painting concrete can be a great way to give your project an updated look.

It is important to understand the pros and cons of spray painting concrete before you begin and prepare the surface properly for optimal results. The best type of spray paint for concrete is one that is designed specifically for outdoor use and will adhere to porous surfaces like concrete. If you decide not to use spray paint on your project, other alternatives, such as epoxy paints or stains may provide better protection against weathering over time.